Change is always unsettling

I’m dealing with a lot of stuff right now. I hadn’t realised this though, until two different people pointed it out to me. I guess that’s what happens sometimes, you just get so caught up in the middle of everything that you don’t always realise what you’re actually caught up with. You just battle through, or plates start to drop, or things start to unravel.

I guess I’m in the just battling through option at the moment. Every day is exhausting, and I get home and mostly only have enough energy to make myself some dinner (a lot of the time just something on toast) and then wonder how best to spend my time before falling into bed.

Mostly I try to halfheartedly pick my way through my (ever-expanding) to-do list, but never quite actually achieve anything. I give up, choosing instead to rest in some way, but end up idly flitting from thing to thing, nothing quite hitting the mark of what I seem to actually need.

I’m generally out of words by 8pm on a weekday, mentally tired, so interacting with people is kind of out. Or if I’m with people, sometimes I’m not really there. I’m distracted by thinking about other stuff that I need to do, or that’s going on. I’m late to replying to messages from a lack of communication ability.

Maybe you’re thinking ‘just stop doing some stuff’ then? Not that easy. It’s not just the quantity of things, it’s the impact they’re having on life. The things I’m dealing with are across most of my life pillars; movement or a shake up of these requires a fair bit of energy to deal with. Change is always unsettling, even for people, like me, who like and thrive on it.

Depending on what you value, believe or read, there can be different pillars of life. I like these ones: career, money, love, purpose, and enthusiasm.

I’m starting a new job next month, currently in my last week and a half of my old one. I’m in that time where it’s a rush to get everything finished and handed over, sadness at leaving, trepidation (but also excitement) about a new job and stress about whether my visa change will come through properly/in time. There’s a lot of changes and unsettledness in my current workplace, making my last few weeks a pretty stressful place to be each day. I’ve only been in this one job since being in New Zealand, and a lot of my life here has been tied up in that, so it’s the end of an era and a big wrench, despite the move being 100% the right decision for many different reasons. This is my main energy-and-headspace sucker, it feels like such a big thing and it’s taking over most things right now.

Money generally is, thankfully, not so much of a stressor, but I’m dealing with the process of deciding whether to transfer my UK pensions to NZ, as the time limit of the tax-free period to do so is rapidly approaching. I am finding trying to answer questions such as where will I be when I retire and what are my long term retirement financial plans extremely difficult, especially as I’m not yet an actual resident in New Zealand. I hopefully will be by the end of this year, but until I get the piece of paper confirming it, I’m not counting my chickens. I’m also not a huge long-term planner, I don’t think about the future in that level of detail, I don’t fully understand the actual process or pension/investment details and so have the instinctive reaction to want to run away from the responsibility and decision-making.

Love covers all my relationships; family, friendships and romantic. Pete gets the brunt of me trying to deal with everything, and I’m aware I’m not being the best partner to him currently, my ability to give him quality time having taken a nosedive. My wonderful friend Katie is leaving New Zealand next week to go live back in Canada, and I’ll miss her so much; the day-to-day things like going for a run on a Saturday morning or a walk on the beach after work and having someone to talk to. Not to mention all our adventures around New Zealand. It reminds me of the loss of my friends back in the UK and having to go through that again. I miss my family, and having no idea when I’ll see them again makes me sad. I see my niece getting more and more grown up on each video call, and realise there’s a big chance that by the time I see her again I’ll have missed being around in person for most of her childhood.

Lack of purpose is often a stressor for a lot of people, but for me it’s the opposite. I’ve figured out my purpose (I believe it’s writing and sharing stories about people), I just don’t feel I can spend my time building it into my life in the way I want right now, which I find frustrating at times after trying to figure it out for so long. I’m impatient. I have a new writing project, and so many ideas, but lacking time and energy, and it all takes so much longer than I want it to.

Then enthusiasm wavers when I’m tired and stressed. I feel like I have no time, and must do the to-do list, so fun stuff can sometimes drop off, although I’m generally pretty good at getting away as much as I can. I’m finding running is real hit and miss at the moment because I just don’t feel like I can fit it in, yet I know that what I need to do is make it a priority again, because it’s that life pillar, that foundation, that helps all the other stuff more manageable.

And I haven’t even mentioned COVID. Although we’re fortunate in New Zealand to be virus-free out in the community, so have very few restrictions, it’s always there, permeating and seeping into everything. Dominating conversations over and over again, both here and in conversations with loved ones overseas. Still no end in sight one year on-one year, it seems like such a long time!-no plan for how the world will live with COVID, still so much uncertainty and a feeling of life on hold.

I’m sure to people looking at my social media it seems like my life is full of weekend adventures, COVID freedom and happy smiles – and it IS. Those things exist and I have a great time doing them all, and I should probably write a gratitude post next to balance this one out. I also have a new haircut and never had so many compliments

But it’s also all a bit stressful and much sometimes. Because that’s how life is. It’s never always good, or always shit. It’s always a mixture of the two. Some days are better than others. You can be happy and sad at the same time. Everyone is always dealing with something. We can’t wait for things to get better, because something else will come to take it’s place. But I am looking forward to the 1st April when I have a week and a half in between jobs to re-ground those life pillars and decompress from all the work stuff. In the meantime I’ll just concentrate on doing what I can, day by day.

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